Blue Cross Blue Shield Change
Posted on: 11/18/2015

November 18, 2015
Submitted to several Illinois newspapers.

To the editor:

If you are like most people during health insurance open enrollment, you check off “same as last year” and move on to another priority.

This year, for some that might be a bad idea.

A recent move by Illinois’ largest insurer shows why it is important to review carefully your health insurance options.

In 2015, more than 170,000 Illinoisans had health insurance coverage through the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) “Blue PPO.” This popular plan was offered through Get Covered Illinois, our state’s Affordable Care Act Marketplace (also known as the “health insurance exchange”). Recently, BCBS announced that the Blue PPO will no longer be offered in 2016.

If you are covered under this plan, it is important that you assess your options during the open enrollment period. If you do nothing and plan to maintain BCBS coverage, the insurer will automatically enroll you in a new plan called “Blue Choice Preferred PPO.”

This new plan has a much smaller network than the Blues’ old PPO. This means that your preferred doctors, hospitals and other health facilities may no longer be covered as “in-network” under the Blue Choice Preferred PPO. When you receive care out-of-network, you will pay more for your care.

This PPO change only affects patients covered through the ACA Marketplace.  If you have BCBS coverage through an employer you will not be affected by this change.

Open enrollment for current Marketplace insureds ends on December 15.  You have until then to explore your options and switch to an alternative plan if your doctor is not part of the Blue Choice Preferred PPO network.  Access the plan’s “provider directory” online or call BCBS for more information.

Sincerely,

Scott Cooper, MD
President, Illinois State Medical Society



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